Meghan Markle ends maternity leave to promote new charity fashion line

Meghan Markle ends maternity leave to promote new charity fashion line

Meghan Markle has taken four months off for maternity leave and now she’s back in front of the camera.

The Duchess of Sussex, 38, stepped out on Thursday in London to promote her new Smart Works clothing line for a British charity that helps unemployed women find work.

Markle attended a reception at a John Lewis department store to showcase her capsule collection of workwear and accessories she created with designer and friend Misha Nonoo. She donned two items from the collection — a white button-down shirt designed by Nonoo and tapered black pants from Jigsaw.

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The line includes professional attire such as a blazer, tote bag, and trousers. The launch came the day before London Fashion Week starts.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, arrives at a department store to launch the Smart Works capsule collection in London.
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The Smart Set collection supports Smart Works. Markle is royal patron of the charity, which provides women with training and interview clothes.

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Markle said in her speech at the event, “When I first moved to the U.K. it was incredibly important to me personally to be able to connect with people on the ground who were doing really important work. One of the places that I went to really early on was Smart Works.”

“To be able to have one small project that has such big impact is something I’m really connected to,” she added. “This is the kind of work that I’ve been doing for a really long time and to be able to do it here in my new home of the U.K. means quite a bit to me. It’s also the same vein of work that my husband and I will continue doing, really strong community-based projects. And this is something we’ll be excited to share more about next year when we launch our foundation, Sussex Royal, in 2020.”

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The reception was one of her first royal engagements since the birth of her and Prince Harry’s son, Archie Harrison, in May. The family of three is set to embark on a royal trip to Africa between Sept. 23 and Oct. 2.

Meghan Markle has taken four months off for maternity leave and now she's back in front of the camera.

Meghan Markle has taken four months off for maternity leave and now she’s back in front of the camera.
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Before that trip, Markle made a quick appearance in New York City last weekend. She attended the women’s singles final of the U.S. Open between Serena Williams and Canadian Bianca Andreescu on Saturday.

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Markle sat courtside in Williams’ box at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, and cheered on her longtime friend, who unfortunately lost to Andreescu.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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